Meditation New Zealand brings mindfulness & meditation to Auckland Paremoremo prison.
Ten Week Meditation Course
A unique opportunity to learn how to:
Control your mind and senses through breathing techniques and meditation.
Understand the cause of anger and how to control the desires of the mind.
Experience inner happiness and peacefulness.
Learn the importance of developing a sense of purpose and to serve others.
Listen to ancient yoga wisdom talks and how to apply this knowledge in your life.
"I have more control over my thoughts and I am more able to rein in distorted or negative thoughts and replace them with positive, constructive ones." - R
Several of us from Meditation New Zealand have just completed
presenting a 10 week trial Yoga Meditation program,
’Freedom on the Inside’, at one of the units of Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.
To be honest, we were a little apprehensive about going into a Maximum Security Prison and how we would be received!
The program aimed to teach simple meditation practices that
one can adopt in their life to be able to control anger and negative
and fearful feelings that imprison us all. These practices also enable one to taste the inner peace and happiness that we are all searching for.
The Program included Pranayama (yogic breathing techniques), meditation and kirtan (group meditation accompanied by music). We also tried to pass on some of the Yoga Wisdom we have received to help the inmates develop a deeper understanding on how to handle situations in life and to cultivate a more spiritual outlook.
At first the inmates were somewhat bemused by us and many of
them thought we must be on drugs! However, they soon warmed
to the program and it quickly became the highlight of the week for everyone involved. We were impressed at how enthusiastic the inmates were and how they applied themselves.
Positive feedback from the prisoners included how they learnt to
build a personal daily practice of meditation and how it made them
feel so much happier and relieved from a lot of their anxieties and
troubles.The program exceeded the expectations of everyone
involved and we felt very humbled by working with the inmates
and seeing how appreciative they were for what we were trying to
In a situation like this, food becomes one of your few comforts,
so we were all very touched when on the last evening of the course, the inmates turned on supper for us from their meager resources! Then after we presented them with their certificates for completing the course, they showed their appreciation with an amazing, rousing HAKA!
We are now moving on to another unit, but will still be joining our
friends in the first unit once a month for a catchup and more kirtan.
In Their Own Words:
"I would like to thank you all for your time and sharing your talents with us.
1. Sound [mantra] meditation have improved my happiness from my morning mantra with my beads. It has been an improvement in my overall mood all day
2. Sound [mantra] meditation has made a huge improvement in my interactions with other prisoners in our unit. It has given me the ability to brush off situations I would normally get scratchy or wound up over
3. The talks have helped me with mind detachments and I have lost all fear of death.
4. The talks have helped me with material detachments and giving [helping ] me [have] more emphasis on giving.
5. Our weekly sessions have helped break my week up to something to look forward to, to help ease my baggage.
6. I have enjoyed the breathing exercises and exercising my voice box
7. To summarise, the changes sound [mantra] meditation has made for me would be to say every day has been improved." ( L)
"...As weeks passed I started to like Haribol-Nitai-Gaur and the group became part of me like part of the future...Now this is our last week and I am feeling a bit sad because of that. May God bless you guys and fill your lives with happiness and joy. Thanks for showing me I am the joy, I am the soul. Thank you." (N)
"I felt a lot of energy in the room that created a powerful atmosphere..." (J)
"Other than Tai Chi, these sessions have been the only sessions I’ve had involving meditation and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. I thank you for the beads and how to use them. I thank you for the energy and the wisdom shared. I Gopala Govinda Rama every morning and intend to continue. So I appreciate everything." (J)
"I have more control over my thoughts and I am more able to rein in distorted or negative thoughts and replace them with positive, constructive ones.." (R)
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you and the team about my experience. Since I have started meditation with your group I have come to understand that I am on the right track to finding God and all his laws..." (B)
AUM HARI AUM